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A Legacy of Excellence

hall of fame

Thank you to Everyone who

Joined Us to Celebrate our 6th Class!

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On the evening of Thursday October 13, 2022, we were excited to recognize the eight new members of our Hall of Fame with our Sailor family. Our honorees gathered in front of in the Robert B. Wentz Theater at 6:30pm to kick off a meet-and-greet hour with family and friends.


The ceremony commenced at 7:30pm with NHHS principal Dr. Sean Boulton, and then Laura DeSoto (Class of 1976 and Alumni co-President) served as MC. Three past honorees Dr. Joe Corbo, Mary Lyons, and James “Walkie” Ray introduced our new Hall of Fame class. Each of our “great eight” who spoke offered inspiration about how to create a life of meaning through service to others.

The Alumni inductees include:


John Altobelli Class of 1981, outstanding baseball coach

Paul Le Mat Class of 1963, Golden Globe winning actor

Debbe Pyle Magnusen Class of 1974, advocate for children

Raun Thorp Class of 1977, creative architect

David Ullman Class of 1964, champion sailor

Dr. John Vierling  Class of 1963, groundbreaking liver doctor


The honored Faculty are:


Bill Burge, Biology & Marine Science teacher

Joe Robinson, Humanities teacher in 7 decades


It was a wonderful evening, and if you missed it, you can WATCH the event or see PHOTOS here:


Our Hall of Fame tradition began in June 2014, when the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association inducted our first Class of Alumni and Faculty. We have recognized award-winning athletes, brave military personnel, ground-breaking scientists, public servants, artists, writers and actors, as well as beloved teachers, coaches, and administrators—all individuals who reflect our alma mater’s most cherished values of good citizenship and service to others.

We celebrated our previous Hall of Fame class in the Fall of 2019. You can see photos from that special night here:

Take a look at our past honorees for inspiration, and then let us know who you think should be included next time. We are always accepting nominations, so help us find excellent Alumni and Faculty. If you’ve nominated someone in the past, they are still on our list and continue to be under consideration.

How-to Nominate:
1) Read below to see who has already been honored
2) Read the nomination form and gather ALL the information needed
3) Fill in the form and submit (self-nominations are not accepted)

Each Hall of Fame ceremony has been unique, including a special moment our first year when Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, returned to finally walk at graduation 72 years late. You won’t want to miss out, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next event!

FEATURED Hall of Fame Moment 

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Dr. Don Miyada (Class of 1942) began at Newport Harbor High School in 1938, unaware that in the next few years, world events would keep him from his graduation day. In the spring of 1942, Don Miyada and his family were sent to the Poston War Relocation Center, a Japanese Internment camp in Arizona. He treasured the NHHS diploma he received at Poston by mail, because many of his peers from other schools were not given their diplomas; however, he missed the opportunity to celebrate this accomplishment. When the Seniors of the Class of 2014 learned of Dr. Miyada’s story, they were so moved they decided to invite him to be a part of their own ceremony, and so right a decades-old wrong.

1st Class Inductees

2014 Inductees

Albert Irwin

Albert Irwin, Class of 1937, legendary athlete, educator and coach, was the first four year, five sport letterman (basketball...

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George James

George James, renowned watercolor artist and Class of 1950, began his journey in art classes at NHHS...

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Greg and Dr. Barbara Smith MacGillivray, innovative filmmakers and stewards of the environment, started...

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Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall, Class of 1964, transformative power in the entertainment and sporting industries...

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Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor, the greatest athlete in the history of beach volleyball, established her initial determination...

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Dr. Miyada

Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, accomplished professor and resilient patriot, arrived at NHHS in 1938, unaware...

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Jim Newkirk

Jim Newkirk, outstanding athlete, philanthropist, and educator, began his life of community service at NHHS...

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James Seely

James Seely, Rear Admiral US Navy, dauntless pilot and patriot, graduated from NHHS in 1950, as varsity in...

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Anthony Zerbe

Anthony Zerbe, star of stage and screen, graduated from NHHS in 1954, and has spent more than fifty years passionately...

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George Yardley

George Yardley, basketball legend, attended NHHS in the 1940s, where he dribbled his way across the courts that now...

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Sidney Harold Davidson

Sidney Harold Davidson laid NHHS’s foundation of excellence as the school’s first principal. A graduate...

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Webster J. Jones

Web Jones, outstanding educator and a founding father of NHHS’ Heritage Hall, was a leader on campus for...

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Ralph King Reed

Ralph King Reed, revered coach and athletic director, started teaching at NHHS in 1930, as one of the first...

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Ruth Stoever Fleming

Ruth Stoever Fleming was NHHS’s first librarian in 1938, and worked tirelessly to bring quality visual art to...

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Robert B. Wentz

Robert B. Wentz began his monumental career as a drama teacher at NHHS in 1947, after serving in the US Army as...

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2nd Class

2nd Class Inductees

Maria Arena Bell

Maria Arena Bell, Class of 1981, writer, producer, community leader, began her path to success at NHHS. She wrote for the...